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Benghazi 14, Us 10, Irs 7, Jay Carney 7, Clinton 5, Obama 5, Virginia 5, Washington 5, Obama Administration 4, The Irs 3, Naral 3, Phillips 3, Darrell Issa 3, Jonathan 3, Alex 3, Mitch Mcconnell 3, Elise Hogue 3, Kentucky 3, Angie 3, Fda 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    May 14, 2013
    9:00 - 10:01am PDT  

one-third of house committees are investigating the obama administration. but while the white house is bailing water, the storms seem to have originated elsewhere. the latest government office under scrutiny is the department of justice, amid revelations that the doj seized phone records from 20 "associated press" phone lines over two months last year. the records included home phones and cell phones, as well as the a.p.'s main line in the congressional press gallery. more than 100 journalists were monitored. the doj hasn't given a reason for the investigation, but the timing suggests it was to determine who leaked details about a c.i.a. operation in yemen, which foiled a terrorist plot. carl bernstein, he of watergate fame, did not mince words. >> totally inexcusable, that this administration has been terrible on this subject from the beginning. the object of it is to intimidate people who talk to reporters. this was an accident waiting to become a nuclear event. and now it's happened. >> the outrage thus far has been
bipartisan. daily news marcus tweeted, people looking for an obama scandal. this one spying on the a.p. is the first legit one. the question remains, who is to blame? according to jay carney. the white house had no knowledge of the doj's seizure of phone records, but house oversight chair darrell issa is having none of it. in a statement yesterday, he wrote americans should take notice that top obama administration officials, increasingly see themselves as above the law and emboldened by the belief that they don't have to answer to anyone. but let us not forget when exactly the white house began to see itself as being above the law. buzz feed reports from 2007, darrell issa voted against a bill that would have protected media outlets from doj subpoenas. republican congressman lamar smith, who also voted against the bill, said at the time, the federal government defends our national security. so in the federal realm, we must weigh the benefits of a reported privilege with the problems it may cause for those who protect
our country. this bill, that would have prevented all the terrible abuses of power that darrell issa is now railing against, was killed in the senate by a republican filibuster. let us also not forget how republicans have treated leaks of classified information in the past. in june of last year, when "the new york times" reported that white house initiated cyberattacks against iran, this is how senator john mccain responded. >> i call on the president to take immediate and decisive action, including the appointment of a special counsel to aggressively investigate the leak of any classified information on which the recent stories were based, and where appropriate, to prosecute those responsible. >> investigating the a.p.'s leak of classified information appears to be exactly what the doj was doing. but don't tell republicans that. all of this comes against the backdrop of an unfolding drama within the irs, which has
provided even more red meat for scandal-mongers, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell vowed to leave no stone unturned. >> this morning i'm calling on the president to make available completely and without restriction everyone, everyone who can answer the questions we have as to what's been going on at the irs. who knew about it, and how high it went. >> president obama made clear yesterday, that on this matter, he has a zero tolerance policy. >> if in fact irs personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on, and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous. and there's no place for it. and they have to be held fully accountable. >> this friday, the senate will hold a hearing to investigate
the irs and to maybe possibly actually figure out what happened. joining me today, editorial director at the the "huffington post" media group and an msnbc political analyst, howard fineman. former dnc communications director and msnbc host karen finney. editor of the "new republic" franklin ford and "new york magazine's" jonathan chait. howard, we'll get to benghazi in a second. >> no hurry, no hurry. >> where to start? >> we'll put it on the semi middle back burner. between the a.p. story and the irs story, which do you think is a bigger problem for the white house? >> boy, that's a hard choice. as a reporter, i'm tempted to say the a.p. story. but as a political analyst i'm going to say possibly the irs story, just because everybody understands taxes. everybody understands the idea that the irs has to somehow
maintain its independence, its impartiality and its systemic, systematic nature. we're in the classic situation of asking the question who knew what and when. what did they know and when did they know it. so you can't really tell until you see what kind of capillary action there is here from the irs and the doj on these two stories to the white house. that's the game now, that's why a third of the hill -- i'm surprised, what's happened to the other two-thirds? what's wrong with the other two thirds? i mean the rjs are doepublicans cup runneth over. >> jonathan, we didn't have enough time to include the jon stewart clips in our open. he's sort of maybe the worst part of all of this is the tinfoil-hatted conspiracy theorists now have something to
munch on and we made a point of showing the sound from john mccain and the defeat of the bill that would have prevented exactly what the administration did, at the hands of republicans. because i think it's fairly outrageous that all of a sudden after sort of throwing all of these prescriptions out there, once an administration is following up on them, subpoenaing records to make sure classified information wasn't leaked and going forward to make sure there are no further leaks, they're tarred and feathered by republicans. >> that's right. i mean the republicans were to the right of the obama administration. on all of this for a long time. then all of a sudden, the weird context of these other stories has made them say, well we can go at them from the left. that doesn't mean they're wrong, i mean i think they're correct to come at the administration from the left. now i think the right response is to say -- ha does the law allow. and if the problem is the law allows you to do all kinds of awful things, we hope the administration doesn't do that. then you need to change the law. >> but there is alsoed hypocrisy in the administration part. the administration leaks like
crazy when it suits their purposes and cracks down like crazy when it doesn't. and i think we just have to acknowledge that hypocrisy is a universal sin. in this story. >> but that, that leaking concept, i mean everybody does that. i think for this administration part of the problem is a, with a mid term election coming up, the irs story and the a.p. story, not just about the tinfoil hat people. this will motivate the republican base, this is regardless of whether or not they fix it sort of on the surface, you know, i've already seen the emails going out from gop, usa eagle and all of those groups, this will motivate their base and it will be a perfect narrative for them to agitate the tea party folks and the libertarian folks. >> and the fact that the tea party itself -- >> they may not have been able to without something like this. >> of course. >> and the second thing i would also say on it is there is, you know, did, was the administration acting within the law with regard to the a.p.? yeah. however, lefties don't like that stuff, right? we thought, people thought that's what they were getting rid of. like they thought we were going
to have guantanamo closed. >> let's talk about the irs thing for a second. mitch mcconnell is all o'er this, not only because he's a republican leader. but because he's up for re-election in kentucky. now i used to be a reporter there, i was just down there last weekend. the democrats still can't find a candidate to run against him. now mitch mcconnell has the perfect thing to, to run out the clock with. he can talk about this irs thing from now until 2014, and it plays right into sort of the anti-government, anti-federal tea party-spirited rural kentucky. he's going to get an extra 50,000 votes, if not more, out of this, out of this one thing. there's an example of how this is already having an effect. >> alex, just to go back to the fundamental point here, which is about the behavior of government. i think we can all be clear, when we describe something as nixonian, thatted ed adjective s that this thing started at the
top. there's nothing here to suggest that the white house is culpable. but on the other hand, we're seeing that the machinery of the state is incredibly vast and there are all of these bureaucrats asked to do complicated things that involve interpretation of complicated laws. and sometimes they act in ways that don't violate the law per se. but violate norms that we've set up and that should govern the way that things operate. and so even if the justice department didn't break the law, and pursuing the a.p. the way that they did they seem to be violating certain norms that we've set over time. that protect the way that -- >> i think it's huge. go ahead, frank. i think it's hugely distasteful for people on the left, i mean i find it distasteful that the government is monitoring the phone records of 100 journalists, i would have tried to pass the bill that they put on the floor in 2007. but the fact is, it didn't get passed. >> by the way, they were violating, alex, they were violating even if they weren't violating the statute, they were violating many, i think and i
talked to some experts on this topic this morning -- they were violating longstanding department of justice guidelines on how to deal with this. there's a way to do this stuff. there's a whole community in washington that deals all the time between lawyers and investigators. and reporters. this just blew all of that out of the water, apparently. they didn't exhaust the other avenues to get the information before they did this. they were way too broad in what they did. and it's not the statute. but it's longstanding conventions within the department of justice that somebody like eric holder -- should have known to follow. >> and that is a question, too. because we know, jonathan, that there's been an appetite for eric holder's resignation that has been robust, shall we say. >> from the minute he started. >> and i wonder to what degree this has real repercussions in terms of his position as the head of the doj. >> you could definitely see that as being, you know -- >> the end game. >> the way this plays out, yes.
>> to frank's point earlier about sort of government, i right, i think for people hoping that this year would see some kind of action on immigration reform, maybe, maybe gun safety reform, how much does this put a sort of brake on those efforts as we talk about the role of government expansion? >> republicans didn't want to do it anyway. >> that's where the republicans could overplay their hand. this is not a mandate to stop doing everything else. even though right now they're thrilled with that idea and just focus on these various scandals. i think there's going to be a limited amount of tolerance from the american people to get nothing else done. even in benghazi, there are reports that suggest that people are sick of it. and one other thing to point out about the irs. this is not the first time that the irs has gotten in trouble for doing this. they've gone after liberal groups for a long time. went after the naacp in 2004. it happened to be a kentucky field office they said was the problem. i'm not suggesting that it's hit
for tat and that makes it right. i'm just saying if there's a broader problem, people are interpreting law. if there's a bigger problem, let's fix the problem. but i think the administration has an opportunity to take it out of -- >> we should agree that the 501 c 4 status has been conferred on some groups that have distinctly political bents. raince priebus and the rnc have just called for the resignation of eric holder. >> what took them so long? >> we have to take a short break, when we come back, the other disease plaguing washington. republicans have been infected with it for months. the affliction seems to be spreading. we'll diagnose the symptoms of the benghazi syndrome, next on "now." [ male announcer ] what?! investors could lose
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benghazi and what the administration knew and said in the hours and days after the attack on our consulate there. you said in october, quote, the responsibility for the way the white house has tried to cover this up and manage it falls on the president. yesterday the president said there is no "there" there, that it's a sideshow and that it defies logic to say there's a cover-up. do you still think there was? >> i do. >> that was donald rumsfeld, president bush's former defense secretary, lighting his own flaming torch in the great republican witchhunt on benghazi. rather than an orchestrated cover-up. glen kesler writes in the "washington post" this was basically a bureaucratic knife fight. in other words the final versions of the talking points
have been so won because officials deleted things that upset both sides. >> 12 talking points for mabs susan rice revealed that the c.i.a. had originally included language that al qaeda. the investigation was still in its early stages. yesterday, the blame game continued. state department spokeswoman jen sake had something suggestions regarding the c.i.a.'s involvement. >> let me start by just reminding you that these were c.i.a. points. they were c.i.a. edited. they were c.i.a. finalized. so the ultimate result of this was the best estimate of the time of the intel community. again to go back to the bottom-line point here, these were c.i.a. points of the intel assessment at the time. they made the decision about what the final points were going to include. they did include information at the end that we later learned was inaccurate. >> frank, i, i like jen sake.
>> was it -- whose fault was it? >> she just could have had a giant foam finger pointing to look to the c.i.a. holler at langley. that seems -- let's talk about benghazi. because richard cohen writes today in the "washington post," benghazi syndrome is a grave malady of the noggin. the symptoms of which are a compulsion to grossly exaggerate matters and to compare almost anything to watergate. fudging a press release is not a crime. compromising on wording is not a crime. making a decision, even if wrong, that there was no time to call in the cavalry, is not a crime and having inadequate security is not only not a crime. but partly a consequence of congressional budget cuts. what do you make of that? >> i agree. no, but i, i do think, there are underlying issues here that shouldn't be dismissed. the fact that, that, that this outpost in bbz wenghazi was attacked, represents some sort of failure. we have a dead ambassador and
dead diplomats. the fact that libya is kind of a mess after our departure from there is an issue that deserves to be discussed. but as he points out, all of these mechanical things, this allegation of a conspiracy and a cover-up is patently ridiculous. mistakes were made, not in the rumsfeldian sense of the expression. but clearly the handling of the initial response to benghazi could have been smoother and all of these scandals that we're talking about today reflect the fact that the white house repeatedly shows itself to be slow afoot and very bad at managing crises as they erupt where there are bad optics and they could get out in front of all of these things and manage them in a way where it doesn't seem to snowball. like it has. >> well, i mean that is something we didn't talk about before, jonathan. but the getting out ahead of the story seems to be something that the white house is very indisposed towards. they cannot seem to do it.
and in this piece in particular, the train has really left theization on this. there is now 146 gop members of the house are rebuking john boehner, surprise and backing a bill to set up a special panel to investigate benghazi, because the current investigation is not apparently enough. >> it's really weird. i don't know if they would have done that if these other stories came out first. i think what it almost shows is that there was some underlying need for a scandal at this time and place and benghazi was the closest thing to a scandal. although it's not a scandal. it was a standard, like frank said, like a foreign policy operations failure. but not a scandal as anyone would really understand the term. better things have come along. i think you've got people still invested in the benghazi story. even though they should throw that one aside and move on. >> but if you talk about your deliverables, you may get a deliverable on eric holder. but really they're going for the big kahuna on this one, which is
hillary clinton. isn't that the root of all of it? >> it's hillary clinton and it's president obama, right? because a big part of his legacy is his success in the war on terror and against al qaeda. but i mean, having been through the process and having driven a process where you have multiple agencies weighing in, it is a pain in the ass and everybody wants their word, their way, their sentence, their way. so this idea that like just because it changed 12 times is you know, evidence of a scandal? is really ridiculous. i think the more interesting thing is, what do we know? we know that there was a a c.i.a. installation there that we didn't want people to know about for a period of time. blaming the c.i.a., i feel like there's more going on there in terms of what the c.i.a. activities were on the ground in libya. than anybody wants to be able to talk about publicly. i feel like that's more likely, maybe that's why there was less security than there should have been. we did hear at one point testimony people said they didn't want to draw suspicion, they didn't want people to know there was a c.i.a. installation there. i think there's a lot in here that may be relevant. not the talking points, not what
was said on the sunday talk shows. >> the question of security is not being debated in any substantive sense, howard. >> a couple of things. first of all on the c.i.a. part of it, on the one hand at the beginning, i think the c.i.a. as they were developing the talking points, wanted to say hey, wait a minute, we warned you about that, we told you al qaeda was in there. and they said wait a minute, all of our people are in benghazi, we don't want our cover blown on that so they dialed back. that's way inside the beltway, nobody is going to follow that i agree with jonathan, the republicans were looking, second term, stasis in the presidency. let's get him for something. i think they also want a slow-motion swift boat the president. because they were irritated, the republicans were irritated beyond measure that a generation's worth of dominance that they had as the tough on crime party so to speak, in world afairs, had been taken away by the president, because he got osama bin laden. and because he had been tough. i think we need, we almost need like a scandal stock market here.
we've got three, we have three stocks. we have irs, a.p. and beenon benghazi. i agree, benghazi's down. the other two are up. >> it's like "the voice." >> if not for donald rumsfeld and karl rove to be saying anything about anybody misleading anybody on anything. >> there are ads being run featuring hillary clinton. we'll play some in the background. american crossroads has an ad out. how much of this comes back up for 2016. we talked about the 2014 races. >> another part of the republicans' game here is not just to go after hillary clinton, but to have hillary clinton and barack obama end up at cross-purposes. don't forget, that it wasn't hillary who went out to do the talking points on the five television shows. it was susan rice. who later on was thrown under the bus. i'm sure the republicans are hoping that there will come a time when hillary's interests
for 02016 in defending her own record at the state department may somehow come in conflict with the story that the white house wants to tell. and then they would have a double victory in their view, strategically. they would weaken hillary and get hillary fighting with barack obama. i i think that's their strategic hope. >> hillary clinton's popularity ratings have been skyrocketed because she's been outside of the partisan fray. it's kind of scary to be going up against a potential candidate with ratings in the 60s. you've got to bring her back into politics. >> they want to bring her back to capitol hill. >> they have to make her a politician and it will go back in the 40s and 50s. >> good thing it's not political. >> i think it's telling when bill o'reilly asking you, is this a good move. should you be attacking hillary clinton on this, doesn't it make it seem transparently political. if o'reilly is telling you that, then you know. >> i think it's smart. they've got to think about 2016. >> you think they should be milking this for all? you think that swing voters? >> you're asking me -- i don't
know if you're asking me what's right versus what's smart. >> it's a political game in terms of the tough politics. now with the irs and the a.p., the republicans are going to drive at the administration and hope to drive down the popularity of president obama. they're hoping to make him someone that hillary in the end won't necessarily want to fully embrace. they want to create as much -- the whole idea of wedge politics is to sew division on the other side. that's what they're going to be doing here. >> i think it will be a test of democratic unity to see how this shakes down and how many ads you can make about one thing that actually has nothing to do with -- >> benghazi. >>ia exactly. coming up, you may not have heard that the suspected boston bomber, tamerlan tsarnaev, was quietly buried in a virginia cemetery last week. but the real story is the woman behind it. we have a look at grace and forgiveness in the tsarnaev saga, coming up next. ♪
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wireless is limitless. last week, tamerlan tsarnaev was buried in an unmarked grave in virginia. an end to a saga that had left massachusetts authorities unable to find a final resting place for the suspected bomber. for over a week, tsarnaev's body had remained at this funeral home in worcester, mass, subjected to protests from outraged citizens. with cemeteries in massachusetts and russia unwilling to accept tsarnaev's remains, there appeared to be no end in site. until one private citizen, dismayed by the pro defendants and feeling compassion for those involved in the struggle decided to act. >> a courageous and compassionate individual came forward to provide the assistance needed to properly bury the deceased. >> 48-year-old martha mullen is a mental health counselor and a seminary school graduate.
she has lived in richmond, virginia for most of her life and said she was sitting in a starbucks listening to a news report on the struggle to bury tsarnaev when she had an epiphany. i thought someone out to do something, something ought to do something about this, and i am someone. >> i heard the news report on npr over the weekend that there were these increasing protests. and that they weren't able to find a place to bury limb. and fundamentally it struck me as wrong. because no matter what people do, we ought to bury them. >> mullen, a christian, began researching muslim burial traditions online and contacted local organizations and cemeteries in the hopes that someplace would be able to offer tsarnaev a final resting place. one of the places she contacted, the islamic services of virginia responded within the hour. announcing it could provide a plot, not because it especially wanted to. but because no one else would. >> it's not a political thing.
it's more so, we have somebody that has passed away, he can't bury himself. somebody needed to take responsibility. we were able to do and that's what we did. >> and so, tamerlan tsarnaev lies here, bury thursday at an unmarked grave at the albarzaq cemetery in virginia. several demonstrators were there and quietly walked away. >> i guess i find it disturbing, they all did horrible things. but for some reason, we're reserving this special type of hatred for this person, because, why? they're muslim? they did something violent? the only difference i can see is that they're muslim. and there are so many good, faithful muslims that i've known and worked with over the years. >> tsarnaev received the dignity of a burial he would have denied to others and that is how it should be, the "richmond times-dispatch" wrote today. interment does not confer honor,
dust returns to dust. while tsarnaev should have been buried in massachusetts or russia, mullen reflected the grace that must be preserved, especially in these twilight hours, sometimes compassion does triumph over resentment. martha mullen reminds us that even after hateful acts we can and should be decent. i'm so glad you called. thank you. we're not in london, are we? no. why? apparently my debit card is. what? i know. don't worry, we have cancelled your old card. great. thank you. in addition to us monitoring your accounts for unusual activity, you could also set up free account alerts. okay. [ female announcer ] at wells fargo we're working around the clock to help protect your money and financial information. here's your temporary card. welcome back. how was london? [ female announcer ] when people talk, great things happen.
here is a live look at the brady briefing room at the white house. which is kind of empty. press secretary jay carney is expected to hold a briefing with reporters soon. very soon. and i'm sure there will be lots and lots of questions, we will bring you his many answers, live, when we get them. and coming up after that, president obama said he was very comfortable with a recent court decision ordering the fda to make the morning after pill available over the counter to women of all ages.
but that wasn't the administration's final word on plan b. we will look at plans b, c, and d, when naral's elise hogue joins us. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it. siemens. answers.
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to enjoy all of these years. ♪ the debate this spring over the morning after pill and whether it should be sold over the counter to women of all age has officially become a never-ending game of legal tug of war. beginning in april, reagan-appointed federal judge rebuked the white house and ordered the fda to make plan b available over the counter to women and girls of all ages. the justice department appealed kormen's ruling arguing he didn't have the legal precedent. then last week, the judge denied the government's call to delay his order, and accused the justice department of making frivolous and silly arguments to delay access to plan b. yesterday, in the latest round of plan b ping pong, the obama administration requested yet another delay of
across-the-board access, even though the fda has said plan b is safe and effective for women and girls of all ages. government lawyers claim that quote substantial market confusion could result if kormen's ruling is enforced while appeals are pending. but perhaps the most substantial confusion surrounds the fact that a reagan-appointed judge has ended up championing women's reproductive rights while the obama administration works to curtail them. joining us from washington is the president of naral pro choice america, elise hogue. we should also disclose that our lovely karen finney is on the board of naral. elise, thanks for joining us. i'm endlessly confused by the story. why is the administration doing what it's doing? >> i know, it's like every day is freaky friday on this story, alex, isn't it? you know i'm sympathetic to the idea that we all want our kids to come talk to us if they get into trouble. unfortunately, that's not the job of the administration, right now. the real question is, whether we're going to have this
science-based policies that we were promised by this administration, what we know and what has got the judge so up in arms is that plan b and other morning after pills are safe. they've been tested extensively. they're safe for all women. teen pregnancy, unintended teen pregnancy is dangerous and it's a problem. we have a solution. and it needs to be implemented. >> karen, i mean i, on some part i've been trying to sort of assess the political calculus here. the administration was under a lot of fire for its contraception mandate. so on this sort of happened around the same time. and perhaps this was a dofing of the hat to social conservative who is don't like the idea of contraception being made available to women and girls of all ages. why do they continue to appeal the rulings? >> i'm baffled by it, because frankly in the context of the campaign it made sense. i didn't like it, it didn't make sense in terms of the science
but it made sense politically why they would do it. but the court basically gave them an out essentially for them to go back and double down does not make any sense to me when they had an out. and you know, particularly just ironically this is probably not the week that you want to make your friends on the left angry because you're going to need some people because you've got three other scandals, actual scandals that you need to be dealing with. >> jonathan, emily basel wrote in "slate" last month about this she said every time a president sets himself against solid science, he naks easier for the next administration to do the same. crying wolf about child safety on this is especially bad in the realm of teen sex, where adult fears can block all kinds of sensible education and birth control efforts. what do you make of that? >> i think she's right. it's wrong on the policy merits, it seems wrong politically. i think the people that are worried about offending are not part of their natural base. so as a raw political calculation, it's kind of puzzling. i have yet to see any keeind of
plausible explanation of what they're thinking. >> the anti-science morkt, frank, that's largely been the purview of the right. which is anti-science in many things. women's reproductive health is one area where there's weird, inaccurate science trotted out by sometimes candidates running for congressional office and sometimes by just weird tinfoil hatted conspiracy theorists. i do think it's damaging to the larger sort of listening to the science community and accepting what they say as science and fact. >> i think that's true and i think there is some connection between a couple of things we've talked about in previous segments of the program. in that you have a certain way that the press has been treated in previous administrations. you have a certain way that science was treated. and a certain way that people's tax status was treated. i don't really blame the administration per se. but i think it is essential as kind of liberals to be vigilant about the way that government
gets used in these instances. where that there's, there's a culture that there's standards, that there's a way of doing things. even if it's not prescribed, specifically in regulations. that you know when the fda deems something to be scientifically valid or necessary, that we defer to the experts in the fda there. or if you know, that we just, we just don't try to tap reporters' phones or trace leaks in crazy witch hunts. and again, i don't think that there's patterns here necessarily. although perhaps in the treatment of reporters. but still -- can somebody answer the question -- what is the administration thinking? we are all surmising. >> can i make a guess? >> yes, please. >> first of all, heroic effort to that tie everything together here. >> that's my job. >> you and glenn beck.
those are your jobs. >> i just need a white board. >> this is just a guess, but i think this is something that perhaps the president and michelle obama might have a personal opinion on. and it might have in some way to do with the fact that they're parents of two daughters. and i have not attempted to report that out and i don't know anybody who has. but something that doesn't make, that clearly doesn't make any scientific or at this point political sense. to me there's no other explanation. i can't believe kathleen sebelius is pounding the table on this, either. she's got dpluf other things to deal with, trying to implement -- we haven't even talked about obama care. you know. >> howard brings up a valid point. when the president first came out and expressed his disapproval of this being made available to women and girls of all ages. he mentioned the fact that he had two daughters and painted this visual of this kind of birth control being available next to bubble gum and
batteries. which seemed to be a different side of the argument than one that he traditionally takes. in terms of personal investment on this not being on store shelves. >> everyone can relate to the fact that parents are really uncomfortable thinking about their teenagers having sex. much less getting pregnant. the problem is the country is not looking for a father in chief right now. we're actually looking for a government that's top priority is to keep young women safe. if we think this is confusing and we follow this for our jobs, put yourself in the shoes of a 15-year-old who finds herself with an unintended pregnancy and this is a solution to the problem. that is nonmedically invasive and allows her to goed on and live her life and health and have a family later in life. that's what we need from this administration. and i'm hoping we're going to get it. >> it's worth noting that plan b is available in 63 countries without a prescription, including the uk, ghana and france. 20% of american women give birth
before the age of 20. which is more than in any other developed nation. we talk about what we need as a country? obviously teen pregnancy, in some circles people think it's gone away as a problem. it obviously hasn't if it's one in five pregnancies. >> it absolutely hasn't. elise makes a really important point. let's be reality-based in terms of young women who would need access to something like this, right? we know a lot of young women who become pregnant unintentionally, maybe they were raped, maybe they were abused and they can't therefore come forward. they can't go to their parent and ask for permission. or maybe they just made a stupid mistake. but again, i think the bigger thing that i'm most concerned about is, if the science is telling you one thing, even if personally, as the president, you just disagree with it, that's as elise said, that's not your job. that's not government's job and that's something we should all be very offended by. >> elise, i want to ask you about the comments that ruth bader ginsberg made this weekend on roev. wade. weaver having a volatile and
boisterous debate about women's basic reproductive rights from contraceptive choices. ruth bader ginsberg said the court should have held only that the texas law before it in roe which prohibited abortion. leaving for the future the question of what other restrictions on abortion might be constitutional. that would seem to be a considerable walk-back of the ultimate decision in roe v. wade and i wonder how your reaction to that. >> well, bader's, bader ginsberg's comments went much further than that. and actually she has pointed to the fact that roe has given her political opponents a target on which to focus. you know, speculation about what might have been if we had done it differently is the privilege of those who have 20/20 hindsight. think what's really important is that the courts decided the merit of the case. and that's what it's supposed to
do. that the privacy of these decisions is constitutionally enshrined. the other thing bader ginsberg said which is really interesting, is that she also wonders how this would have unfolded if it had been decided on the case, on the constitutional right of equality, and not privacy. and i think that's an idea we should explore in terms of protecting women and our equality across the board. >> i just don't know how i feel about supreme court justices lately coming out and sort of saying -- second-guessing their decisions. sandra day o'connor, we see you. thank you to naral's elise hogue, it's great to see you, great to see you and hear from you, as always. >> thank you so much. >> you're looking live at the white house briefing room. where there are a couple more people sitting in their seats. press secretary, jay carney is is expected to speak with reporters, we'll bring you his remarks live when they begin. we'll have more after the break.
white house press secretary jay carney was supposed to take the podium, but we're still waiting for him to take questions from reporters. frank, you suggested i spend the rest of the show teasing. >> another guy sat down. >> who are the -- i should know. but i don't. who those three guys are there. >> it is a testament, frank to what is going to be a not probably great hour for jay carney. he got something like 131 questions on the same subject yesterday. today will be a perfect storm of three different things for the white house. mitigating this, i don't think we can call it a disaster. but charting these waters, is, will be a difficult job. what, what, i mean in your assessment, has the white house failed largely in not getting ahead of this story? or do they need to take more
decisive action at present? >> i have pity for jay carney. and yeah. i do think that they could, they could be a little more aggressive in trying to get out in front of some of the stuff. i think with benghazi, they've let this, they let the story drift without ever establishing a convincing counternarrative. and with all of these stories, it seems like there's, there's not whole lot for the white house to lose by getting it all out there and, this is, in dealing with it. and with the irs thing, having some sort of independent investigation seems like it will do nobody any real harm. i mean i guess we've seen from the past. how independent investigations can do real harm. but i think it's possible to investigate a lot of these things without it. you know decapitating the administration. because it doesn't seem like they fundamentally, the white
house fundamentally erred in any of these situations. >> i think they think any bit of transparency will be met with a scourge, hue and cry from the right. so better not to get involved. >> it's happening. >> we're going to continue to hear about this until i think november of 2014. >> i think that it's characteristic of president obama and his team, frank used the word narrative. they're much better, they were obviously much better at the narrative of campaigning, than they have been at creating narratives ever governing. and they've been very reactive and they tend to rely on things like saying there's hypocrisy here. and there is let's face it. the republicans are monumentally hypocritical about leaks, about manipulating the irs. >> about national security. >> and they have the gall and the chutzpah to talk about talking points when the most famous talking points of all time are george w. bush's
talking points. >> and colin powell's talking points. >> and yet, screaming hypocrisy is not a narrative. because first of all, it happens all the time and it sort of gets you as president in the position of saying well this is the way business is always conducted around here. which is of course in conflict with what obama's narrative as a campaigner was. >> i think we should be clear to divorce narrative from actual legislating. >> you need one to legislate, though. >> in fairness, i would say also, campaigning, you actually control so much more of the narrative, the message, the policy. versus i can tell you, in the white house, you don't know what you don't know. you don't know what some idiot at the irs office did or didn't do. until somebody can find out what that person did. it's intimidating to stand up at the podium and say definitively, knowing what you don't know. >> jay carney, good luck. thanks to our panel. that's all for now. i will see you back tomorrow at noon.
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right now on "andrea mitchell reports" -- the justice department under fire. for using a secret subpoena to obtain months of phone records from scores of reporters at the "associated press." without their knowledge. it's clearly distressing to think that without our knowledge, someone is looking at phone calls that we make in the course of daily business. i've been in this business more than 30 years. and our first amendment lawyers and our lawyers inside the a.p. and our ceo is also a well-known first amendment lawyer. eric holder set to speak in just a few moments. the a.p. scandal, the irs targeting of conservative groups